Bokeh Wonderland: Striking Out of Focus Display of Tokyo Cityscape


Delightful Bokeh photographs made from images shot of Tokyo at night create a dazzling display of colors and shapes of Japans’ premier city. Photographer Takashi Kitajima, also a computer software engineer blurs buildings and other infrastructure in the tradition of Bokeh art into beautifully abstract landscape.

tokyo bokeh

In photography, Bokeh is known as “the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image.” Bokeh is also described as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.”  Discrepancies  in lenses and apertures allow certain lens designs to blur an image in a manner “that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting—”good” and “bad” Bokeh, respectively.”

bokeh tokyo

The Bokeh effect normally happens in portions of a scene that are outside the depth of field any given image. Photographers will at times purposely use a shallow focus method to create images with defined out-of-focus regions. Bokeh is typically most noticeable around tiny background highlights, like in peculiar reflections and light sources. Bokeh however, is not confined to highlights as blurring tend to appear in all out-of-focus regions of an image.

tokyo out of focus

In this ongoing series, Kitajima shows the Bokeh technique masterfully by blurring the details of Tokyo’s infrastructure into lovely abstract landscapes.  Kitajima composes each dazzling shot attaining a perched perspective, standing on the decks of high-rise buildings or overpasses during the night. Doing this, he is able to come-up with delightful scenes where distinct objects are enshrouded by blurs of the Bokeh effect.

out of focus tokyo

The blurry, shining dots turn into masses of brilliant color, transforming ordinary city evening images into striking displays of color and light. Photography allows mundane places, and things to be featured in a diversity of ways, and this is a fine example of that ability.   Artists like Kitajima with a keen eye are able to produce dramatic visuals from otherwise common and oft pictured places.

out of focus tokyo bokeh

bokeh out of focus tokyo

See his Bokeh images of Tokyo here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.